Basic Sourdough Loaf Recipe
I’m going to start out by being completely honest with you: baking sourdough isn’t for everyone. But, if you choose to do it, I promise you will fall in love with it.
I began baking sourdough in 2014 and it completely captivated my heart. It is an engaging, yet challenging process that nudged me to work with my hands and yields an incredibly rewarding result. A combination of a science and an art, artisan sourdough is a subject that, should you decide to pursue it, will never be exhausted.
There are infinite ways to bake a loaf of sourdough. You can play with the hydration, flavors, method of bulk fermentation, temperatures, flour types, techniques of folding—the list goes on and on.
But, my biggest tip for someone just beginning their journey in sourdough is to start simply.
It’s so important to practice the basics and get the feel of things before experimenting with more variables, and so this is my basic sourdough loaf recipe, my go-to when I’m wanting to keep things simple!
The Basics Of Sourdough Bread
Artisan sourdough is bread that is baked without commercial yeast through the activity of wild yeast that has been cultivated through a starter. The starter is incorporated with flour, water and salt and then stretched and folded periodically over a couple of hours to strengthen the gluten in the dough.
This recipe assumes you have a healthy starter on hand. If you haven’t begun that process, check out my no-measure method for creating & maintaining a starter. Or if you want a more scientific guide that goes into even more depth into this process, check out this post.
The following recipe yields a single loaf, making it a great beginner recipe for artisan sourdough because you don’t have to work with too much dough.
If this is your first time baking, be aware, the dough will be incredibly sticky and seem difficult to work with. Wetting your hands before and during the process of working with the dough is a great trick to keeping it from sticking to your hands.
Be sure to watch the videos I link to in the recipe that will really help you in forming the loaves.
If you’re looking for a more in-depth process that walks you through all of the supplies you need, creating and maintaining a starter and making a double batch of bread, click here.